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Policy: ANU art collection


To inform the community, staff and members of the ‘ANU Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection Advisory Committee’.


To inform the community, staff and members of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection Advisory Committee.


This Policy applies across the University.

Policy Statement


  1. It is the policy of the ANU Art Collection to build and maintain a collection of excellence which reflects significant developments in Australian art and to promote a broader understanding of visual culture with special reference to the University's educational and outreach priorities.


  1. Recognising that The Australian National University is the owner and custodian of a significant part of Australia's cultural heritage, it is the policy of the Collection to:
  • acquire works of art of demonstrable excellence and significance within the perceived developments of contemporary Australian art;
  • develop a major public art collection for the purpose of demonstrating the University's commitment to the study, patronage and advancement of the visual arts;
  • foster a general awareness and understanding of the visual arts among the University community and members of the general public through education and other outreach activities.;
  • enable research on the visual arts and support the teaching programs of the University;
  • acquire works of art suitable for the purpose of enhancing the public areas, both buildings and grounds, of the University;
  • provide a high standard of curatorial care and management of a major University and national asset.
  1. In respect of acquisitions, it is the policy of the Collection:
  • to purchase works of art by significant contemporary Australian artists;
  • to acquire recent works of significant contemporary Australian artists who are already represented in the Collection and of artists who have specific links with the ANU;
  • to ensure that outdoor sculpture is acquired for campus grounds and that the commissioning of sculptures for specific sites is included;
  • to give special consideration to the acquisition of at least one significant work by an emerging Australian artist every year;
  • to ensure that the Collection demonstrates a commitment to fair representation and diversity;
  • to ensure that a particular opportunity to acquire an exceptional work of art is acted upon;
  • to encourage gifts to the Collection with a view to enhancing its general congruence.
  1. In respect of de-accessioning, it is the policy of the Collection that:
  • such action is only considered in exceptional circumstances;
  • all art objects at the ANU are deemed to be owned by the ANU and none can be de-accessioned without following the procedures and guidelines under this policy;
  • the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Curator (Collections), reviews all proposals for de-accession under the guidelines of this policy
  • Gifts made under the Australian Federal Government’s Cultural Gifts Program should not be returned to the donor as the donor has already received the benefit of a tax deduction for the gift.


Printable version (PDF)
Title ANU Art Collection
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_000368
Purpose This procedure sets out the mechanisms relating to the ownership, management and curation of the ANU art collection, the operation of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and the establishment of an advisory committee. The membership of the Advisory Committee has been expanded to include representation from ANU Heritage and an indigenous representative.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Buildings & Grounds - Art Collection
Effective Date 8 Dec 2022
Next Review Date 8 Dec 2027
Responsible Officer: Director, Drill Hall Gallery
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Drill Hall Gallery and University Art Collection
Delegations 247

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.